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Nigeria Loses N48,596,413,850b Daily Over Twitter Ban – Report

BY DAYO ADESULU
The Twitter ban in Nigeria which took effect on Saturday has cost the country in the last twenty-four hours a whopping sum of $134,251,654 million and  NGN 48,596,413,850 billion, according to Netblocks statistics.
The NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST) estimates the economic impact of internet disruption, mobile data blackout or app restriction using indicators from the World Bank, ITU, Eurostat and the U.S. Census.
Its statistics at https://netblocks.org/cost/ revealed Nigeria is losing for each hour that @Twitter remains blocked in Nigeria N50,621,264,428 billion ($139,845,473), just as a total shutdown cost $134,251,654 million
The Muhammadu Buhari led administration had on Friday declared the ban of Twitter operations in Nigeria. However, the ban took effect on Saturday as mobile service providers such as MTN, Airtel, GlobalComm, 9Moble complied.

The ministry of information posted the announcement of Twitter’s suspension — on Twitter.

Twitter users in Nigeria expressed outrage at the blocking of one of the main outlets that they have to criticize their government and try to hold it to account. Since Saturday when the ban took effect, many Nigerians have circumvented the suspension by using virtual private networks to access the service, raising questions of how effective the ban will be.

Sequel to the VPN use, the Nigerian government has ordered federal prosecutors to arrest and prosecute users of the Twitter app, after a ban on the social media company took effect on Friday.

Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, issued the directive Saturday in a statement signed on his behalf by his spokesman, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.
“Malami directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF) at the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to swing into action and commence in earnest the process of prosecution of violators of the Federal Government De-activation of operations of Twitter in Nigeria,” it read.
The Attorney General directed the country’s communications regulator, NCC, and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to collaborate with prosecutors “to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay.”
Meanwhile, many Nigerians including Past Enoch Adeboye. Apostle Joshua Suleman, Oby Ezekwesili and SERAP have kicked against the ban and prosecution of Twitter users. They described it as illegal and uncalled for.

SERAP said: ”We call on MTN, Airtel, Glo, others to reverse the blocking of access to Twitter in Nigeria. This shutdown is without a legal basis, as it fails to meet the standards of necessity and network neutrality. We’ll hold them to account for complicity in right violations.”

Prominent cleric, Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God and spiritual father of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, took to Twitter shortly after Malami threatened to arrest and prosecute whoever uses Twitter in Nigerian.

“No retreat. No Surrender”, Mr Adeboye tweeted, sharing a video of his message.

Like Mr Adeboye, the senior pastor of Omega Fire Ministry, Johnson Suleman, took to his Twitter page to question how it is possible to arrest people for using Twitter without monitoring them on the same platform.
“You want to arrest anyone still using Twitter?” Mr Suleman asked. “How did you access them if you are not secretly doing the same?. A deaf and dumb puts on ear-piece.!!”

 

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